Before Tribulation In The Chrysalids

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Pages: 5

The novel The Chrysalids by John Wyndham encapsulates the themes of time and evolution. In the story, the timeline is set hundreds of years after an unidentified disaster known as Tribulation. This is theorized to be a nuclear war, for deviants appear after this catastrophic event. After Tribulation, many turn to religion and try to annihilate deviants to keep the human race a pure as possible. In Waknuk, they are trying revert to how things were before Tribulation. In the novel, the word Chrysalid is never used, yet demonstrates symbolism towards the state of time within the borders of Waknuk. A Chrysalid represents a growing stage and there are many examples of how primitive ways of living are illustrated in Waknuk. Waknuk’s strong fixation on time before tribulation, insolent …show more content…
Waknuk’s fixation on the time before tribulation contributes to why they do not evolve or progress. Instead of moving forward, they are trying to repeat history, hindering their ability to gain knowledge. There are many examples that demonstrate why their way of living is static. For example, David’s Uncle Axel, who is the book’s voice of reason, explains his view on Waknuk in a conversation with David: “A word…a rusted mirror, reflecting nothing. It’d do the preachers good to see it for themselves. … For it is clear, boy, that however wonderful the Old People were, they were not too wonderful to make mistakes” (Wyndham 79). This quotation said by David’s Uncle Axel reveals that instead of Waknuk moving forward, they are creating a world that does not reflect how